Stuck in traffic? Honk. The signal is red. Honk. The signal turns green. Honk. A Pedestrian cuts your way. Honk.
Regardless of the need, Mumbaikars have an incessant need to honk while driving on the city roads at all times.
Did you know that driving in Mumbai, you would have honked roughly 48 times a day? So in an hour, the city would have honked over 18 million times.
But one NGO in association with the Maharashtra Transport Department, Rickshawmen’s Union and the Mumbai Police wants to change this.
In a unique initiative, christened HornVrat, which literally translates to refrain or “fast from honking”, NGO Awaaz Foundation is encouraging Mumbai drivers to refrain from honking unnecessarily.
This campaign that kicked off on began on January 27, 2018, at the Gateway of India, even had a mascot to spread the message. No, it isn’t a human being, instead it is one flashy rickshaw adorned from top to bottom with blow horns.
It has a board that states the number of times Mumbai honks in an hour and has ‘Horn Not Ok Please’ painted in places where blow horns don’t take up space. This auto rickshaw will be seen across the streets of Mumbai to sensitise people against incessant honking.
Speaking to ANI, one of the members of the Rickshawmen’s Union said that noise pollution by honking builds up stress and anger, adding that being exposed to it also impacts health severely. He added that it was unfortunate that vehicular honking in cities has reached an alarming level that contributed to approximately 70% of the noise pollution.
Drivers on the road often do not realise that the subconscious act of venting their frustration and tension can be threatening to not just the environment but also human health.
According to the Earth Saviours Foundation, loud and continuous honking apart from causing annoyance, depression, hypertension, stress and hearing loss, is also found to be linked to memory loss and panic attacks.
We hope this unique campaign drives action among citizens to help make our city roads a little more bearable in traffic jams and otherwise.
Though initiated four months ago, many Mumbaikars are still unaware of this unique initiative. We hope this story helps the message reach far and wide.
(Edited by Shruti Singhal)